What a weekend for the Texas A&M Aggies. The boys from College Station proved they belong in the SEC with a stunning upset of Alabama last Saturday night. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel reminded me of Doug Flutie and Brett Favre in the way of avoiding the sack and extending the play in order to find the open receiver against the Tide. A&M will be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC as long as Manziel lines up under center for the Aggies, and they might just bring home a national championship to College Station before his career is over. It’s hard to believe he’s only a freshman. It should give schools like Tennessee and Auburn faith that the right recruit can quickly turn your teams fortunes around.
Alabama’s loss had a serious ripple effect on the polls and the BCS standings. Kansas State and Oregon are #1 and #2 in the BCS, but as we saw with Alabama, there are no guarantees they will meet in January. Let us not forget (impossible with the national media) that Notre Dame is poised to run the table and end their schedule unblemished. While the pollsters might think a Oregon-Notre Dame national championship would get the ratings, I think a Kansas State-Oregon national championship would be a much more highly contested game. I don’t think Notre Dame could keep up with Oregon’s offense, and Collin Klein and the very underrated K-State defense could give the Ducks some serious problems. If all three undefeated teams lose, you would think the SEC Championship game winner would argue for a spot in the BCS championship. Until then, it’s looking more and more like the BCS Championship will not have an SEC team playing in it for the first time since the the 2005-2006 season (Texas and Vince Young defeating USC and Reggie Bush).
BMOC: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Was there any other choice? All he did was take his team into one of the most hostile stadiums in the NCAA and come out with a victory. Their was nothing cheap about it either. The Aggies outplayed the Crimson Tide in almost every aspect of the game and silenced the 101,821 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The stat that most impressed me was the 11/18 3rd down conversions A&M had against a tough Alabama defense. The Tide showed last week that they were vulnerable to a loss against LSU, and their last ditch effort to get in the end zone was picked off. While the Aggies won’t have any national championship hopes this year, they proved they’ll be a new force to be reckoned with in the SEC for at least the next couple of years. The Tide has to remain focused and set their sites on the SEC Championship Game, and a possible BCS berth depending on the results of the next couple of Saturday’s. They are no longer captains of their own fate, and that was something that was unthinkable until a couple of weeks ago. Luckily for Coach Saban, Alabama gets to beat up on Western Carolina at home this Saturday while Texas A&M plays host to Sam Houston State.
They gave HIM a Contract? Tommy Tuberville, Head Coach, Texas Tech
I usually reserve this space for players who make serious errors and cost their team the game. I’ll make an exception this week for Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, who mindlessly slapped a graduate assistant on the sidelines during the Raiders win over Kansas in Lubbock last Saturday. Tuberville initially said it was an attempt to pull him off the field, but replays showed a malicious strike against the G.A. While addressing the media today, Tuberville said, “I have to hold myself to a higher standard.” No kidding, Tommy. After the controversy surrounding former coach Mike Leach’s treatment of players, Tuberville should expect a suspension and fine coming from either the Big 12, the university or both. A head coach sets the example of behavior for the team, and Tuberville is way too experienced to not know better or let his temper get the best of him. If a decision is reached this week, Texas Tech might have someone else coaching from the sidelines against #24 Oklahoma State this weekend. Woody Hayes paid a serious price for a similar temper tantrum and Tuberville has nowhere near Hayes stature at Ohio State.
Project Runway NCAA: Boston College
On this Veterans Day, I thought it’d be important to point out the patriotic uniforms Boston College wore against Maryland a couple weeks ago. The uniforms are part of the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides services for injured military personnel and their families. After the game, the uniforms were auctioned off to support the project on the BC athletic website. The University of Hawaii will debut their Wounded Warrior uniforms on November 24th against UNLV. Under Armour designed the USA themed helmets and jerseys, and the company encourages people to donate backpacks to our wounded heroes at www.ua.com/freedom. It’s a great way for college football fans to help out our veterans who give so much to keep us safe.
Small School, Big Time Numbers: Aramis Hillary, QB, Coastal Carolina
In the scope of Carolina schools, Coastal Carolina often gets overlooked. Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, CC has a beautiful campus and is about a ten minute drive to the beach (I’ve been there). The football team has itself a Big Kahuna in QB Aramis Hillary. For the third time this year, Hillary was named the Big South player of the week for his 19-of-22 passing for 261 yards and tying the Big South single game record with five touchdown passes which led Coastal Carolina to a resounding 65-7 win over Presbyterian College. He even rushed for 81 yards on seven carries. Hillary looks to lead the Chanticleers to their fifth straight win against Charleston Southern at home in Myrtle Beach this Saturday. My only question is how does anyone go to class when the beach is ten minutes away?
Thursday Night Social: North Carolina at Virginia, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Usually when a team puts a 50 spot on the scoreboard, it results in a win. Well, UNC did that last week, but allowed Georgia Tech to put up 68 points (it is almost basketball season, so the score fits). That game’s combined 118 points was the highest scoring game in ACC history. Virginia was no slouch either, scoring 41 points to Miami’s 40 in their victory at home against the Canes. The Cavaliers came away with touchdowns on all six of their trips inside the red zone last Saturday. If you like defensive battles, you might want to watch the History Channel instead of this game on Thursday night. First team to 70 points wins.